Awesome Nuggets: Thanksgiving Edition

Awesome Nuggets: Thanksgiving Edition

by Angela Noel

November 23, 2017

It’s Thanksgiving!

Weird thing about gratitude: In the act of calling to mind all the good things we have in our lives, we’re actually receiving a powerful benefit. As Alex Korb Ph.D discusses in The Grateful Brain, studies have shown that calling to mind what we’re grateful for has a direct effect on depression and an indirect effect on anxiety. As we express gratitude our brains increase dopamine production, making us both feel good, and increase our activity levels–a kind of “more of that, please” response. So offering thanks for the gifts we’ve been given is also a gift to ourselves.

I’m grateful for many things in my life, but the things bringing me the most joy are often the little moments, the Awesome Nuggets, charming me into a special, receptive, even joyous state of mind. I’ve shared my lists of Awesome Nuggets before, here and here. I hope you’ll join me in sharing either a link to a post you’ve written about special people or things in your life–moments, events, things, animals–whatever. Or if you don’t have a link, just share what you’re feeling grateful for right now in the comments below.

It’ll do you good–heck, it’ll do us all good.

Thanksgiving Edition Awesome Nuggets:
  • While in Alaska this past June, my mom and I went on a date. We rowed across a glacial lake together. This picture, taken on the boat when I probably should not have had my cell phone out, may be my favorite picture of her ever.
Kathy Davis in Alaska
In June 2017 I snapped this picture of my mom on a glacial lake in Alaska. Isn’t she lovely?
  • A new co-worker hugged me for no particular reason.
  • My fourteen-month-old neighbor toddled over to me and hugged me, all eight teeth showing in a wide, welcoming grin.
  • My husband, who does so many little things he thinks I don’t notice but I do, has been particularly awesome. In just one example, after I broke our oven, he decided to get dinner started while I was at Jackson’s piano lesson. Unfortunately, all the planned meals for the week involved the oven–so Paul lit up the grill (even though it was snowing outside) to cook the potatoes. They tasted amazing.

    Paul and fishing
    This is Paul fishing on Lake Michigan. Obviously, this has nothing to do with grilling or snow. I just like the picture.
  • While at Ragnar, I learned I’d been offered a new job just minutes before I had to run my first leg. Paul smiled ear to ear as I accepted the offer. I tear up a little even now when I think of the pride in his eyes.
  • Knowing our schedule would have to change when I started my new job, eight-year-old Jackson made a decision. Without prompting, he had backpack, shoes, and coat all ready so we could leave the house on time.  “I don’t want you to be late during your first week,” he said.
  • While shopping, I heard a little boy tell his mom, “Momma, I like your face.” She replied, “Kiddo, I like your face too.”
  • My former boss wrote me the kindest note ever and bought me a necklace, she said, to remind me to let my light shine.
  • Friend and former co-worker, Julia, walked me to my car as I left my old job for the last time. She managed to tell me the perfect story about the day we met–how she remembered with perfect clarity sitting across from me and knowing we’d be friends.
  • Walking in for my last day of work I found my cube covered with pictures. My favorite is the one of a cake with a rainbow and the words, “You’re dead to us now. We hope you fail.”

    Cake with a funny message
    This is a picture of the picture I found on my cube on my last day of work. Weird thing about love, it’s very rarely literal.
  • After reading my post about shelving my first novel on Clockwork Cloud’s “WiP Wednesday,” my friend, Dan, bought me Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. I have since read it and quoted it about a billion times.
  • Lots of guest posts! I love writing guest posts (thank you for the opportunity, Shaun, Anneli, Steph, Lorna, and Dave) and love hosting others on my blog.
    • Recent guest posts I’ve hosted (P.S. You are ALL Awesome!):
  • One of my favorite posts (Co-Parenting: Confessions of a Part-Time Mom) was shared on Facebook a whole lot, resulting in the most views in a single day for me, ever. Thank you anonymous sharer!
  • I found a bra I LOVE. For anyone with boobs this is a huge deal. No underwire, super soft, and supportive like a favorite aunt, this thing is amazing. And cheap! Oh man, I love this thing. Neither Target nor Warner’s is paying me to tell you this, but I have to say, if you need a bra, check this baby out.

Gratitude isn’t an annual event. It needs no holiday. Saying what we’re grateful for can be a daily event. If you see it, say it. Thanksgiving, minus the turkey and pie, can be every day if we just make it so.

Your turn: What are you grateful for? Link your Thanksgiving post below, or share your thoughts in whatever way makes you happy. 


Author: Angela Noel

On a quest to become a better human, I write about parenting, leadership, and personal development. I tell my stories so you can find your own.

30 thoughts on “Awesome Nuggets: Thanksgiving Edition”

  1. Oh what lovely awesome nuggets. I love the story of your colleague walking you out to your car. And I especially love the cake they gave you 😂 And bless Jackson for being SUCH a sweetheart. Happy Thanksgiving x

  2. First of all, Angela, your whole post made me smile. Thank you for sharing so many beautiful moments with us. Second, I am SO grateful for you. You have been a great friend, AND, you have been so instrumental in guiding the beginning of my blogging journey in (what I consider) a successful way. I’ll never forget our first walk (in what I hope will be many more), and feeling like we could have walked and talked forever about life and writing. I’m so happy our paths crossed indirectly through Target. Oh, and speaking of Target, I’m with you on the Warner’s bra from Target – bliss! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Friend!

    1. Happy Thanksgiving to you! I imagine your table heaped with purple-green Brussel sprouts from the garden and a pie made from your very own pumpkins. It’s an image that (even if it’s not entirely accurate) makes me smile. You’re wonderful. Thank you.

  3. I love all these nuggets and I love that you think about these sweet little things.

    I totally agree with you. It’s the teeny things that you might not always remember that make people happiest. I think that is why things like the 100 days project are really good for people’s mental health. It makes you appreciate your day to day life and appreciate these kinds of nuggets.

    I love the idea that being thankful can be an everyday thing…although I wouldn’t mind having more turkey and gravy in my life too!

    1. I’m so glad you liked my little nuggets. I like the exercise of thinking about them. It makes my heart lighter every time I write one of these posts. Thank you for reading and commenting! (I could use more stuffing, for the record. I wish I could justify making that stuff every week!)

      1. Stuffing! Om nom nom – especially when it is full of nuts!!

        I noticed that lost of people mention mashed potatoes for thanks giving, but i have to admit, I like roasties best. They are less healthy (I do them with goose fat) but so, so good!

  4. We don’t have thanksgiving as such here in the UK, but gratitude traditionally is celebrated at Harvest Festival. You’re right about it being good for mental health, so many people, me included, slip into self pity when things don’t go to plan. This year I have lost some of my sight, but you know, it wasn’t painful and the NHS was brilliant, treatment quick and this has prevented me from losing more sight. I also received a new kitten designed to cheer up my daughter (boyfriend problems ugh) and he has been great fun.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your sight. That can’t be easy. But, your outlook and gratitude (and new kitten!) offer me inspiration when I might face a tough situation as you did. I’m so glad you stopped by. Thank you!

  5. Awesome nuggets! I love that being grateful is so good for us emotionally. I’m going to make it a point to remind myself how grateful I am at the beginning of each day. I think it’ll help when dealing with stressful situations!

    1. I love that, Lisa. I do think it helps. I’ve been thinking about other ways to incorporate just little moments of gratitude into my day as well. No matter how much I notice the “nuggets” there are always more that go unseen. A daily practice is a great idea.

  6. Thank you for this reminder! So easy to get caught up and forget all the little things we need to be grateful for! There are things all around us if we just pay attention.

  7. Normally, we have bite-sized nuggets to nibble on when we consider things we are grateful for. It’s not surprising at all to see that you are surrounded by a loving family, supportive friends, and a VERY active community. These are more than bite-sized morsels. It’s a feast!

    As for me, I’m grateful to be a part of your virtual community Angela. Cheers!

    1. I’m so grateful to have you! And I must agree, I do believe I live in abundance. Funny how it’s always just there, if I only open my eyes. Thanks so much, Gabe. I truly look forward to every post you write, and every comment you make. 🙂

  8. Angela, you are such a blessing to the world! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your writing and am so glad we connected! Yes, that is a great pic of your mom…relaxed and joyful. We are driving home from a Thanksgiving cruise right now. We celebrated my dad’s 80th bday on the ship. He had a blast! Those memories are priceless…

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